We stayed at the Best Maritim over Easter 2011, as a couple with no children.
As many reviewers have pointed out the hotel is actually located midway between Cambrils and Salou, on the seafront. Cambrils is about a half an hours walk, and Salou about 15-20 mins. But the hotel's location is ideal as there are plenty of bars and restaurants alongside it, and a walking/cycle track is right behind it along the beach/coast making it ideal for lots of outdoor activity. We found that the quickest and most fun way to get from the hotel to Cambrils town was to hire bikes from the rental place across the road from the front of the hotel and cycle in.
The hotel's reception area is large, and the staff are pretty welcoming and helpful - if you ask. There is a games area for kids at one end of the reception, plus the entrance to the hotel bar, where the nightly entertainment also takes place. At the other end is a entrance to the outdoor pool/sunbathing area, and the dining room.
Our room was of average size and clean with slightly, though not hugely dated decor. TV provided, though there is only one (prettty useless) English language TV channel, CNN Europe. No tea & coffee facilities, which is pretty common in mainland Europe. The bathroom was an average size too, clean and with a bath/shower. The only negative really was that the shower head was not removable - not great for washing longer hair:-)
Our room was on the opposite side of the hotel to the pool area, which was great as we didn't have noise from that area, or from the bar at night.
Breakfast runs from 8 to 10.30 and is a huge buffet of most types of breakfast food - fruit, cereals, yoghurt, bread, pastries, hot food etc. It was pretty fresh (though I'm not a big eater of 'cooked breakfasts'), and we had no complaints at all. I can't comment on the 'show cooking' counter where you had to queue to get your food cooked in front of you as we never used it - why bother when pretty fresh cooked food is on the buffet? But kids did seem to enjoy getting pancakes from it. There could sometimes be a queue for breakfast, but this moved really quickly, and wasn't really a queue, just staff clearing tables and seating people at them.
The only real breakfast negative for me was the coffee - there were about 4 coffee machines in the room. The coffee out of these wasn't great, you could only get a small cup (not a pot), and there was often a queue for them. But if you wanted a better coffee you could walk into the bar for it and pay E1.
We stayed b&b, but many of the hotel's guests seemed to be full board, which would mean given the amount of food on offer you'd be eating all day! We never tried dinner there so can't comment on that either - the restaurants around the hotel and in the town were too good to bother staying in. Nearby the hotel our favourite restaurant was probably Les Barques, which does great seafood, paella and tapas. For a drink the Queen's English bar was also nice (not too tacky, though very quiet) - you could also get bar food there, or eat in their full restaurant at the back of the pub on the seafront (separate entrance). After dinner we ventured into the hotel bar a few times to see the 'entertainment' - this is family friendly, and generally delivered through about 3 languages including English, but to be honest the focus is not on catering for English speaking guests, as they are very much in the minority - most guests at the hotel are Spanish, Russian, French and Italian. But this was no problem for us - and the entertainment was funny with reasonably priced drinks, though you wouldn't go to it every night.
We were lucky and had mostly good weather during our trip and the sunbathing areas around the pool are pretty nice. The best one is to the side of the hotel (by the gate to the beach), you get less children and less noise there. The pool bar wasn't open yet so we needed to go into the hotel bar if we wanted poolside drinks. There are plenty of sunloungers, but you need to bring your own beach towel to cover it with. The loungers are quite hard, so you might need a blow up pillow too! Sometimes massage ladies (not affiliated with the hotel) go round too, offering massages on your lounger for between 10-20euro - they're really good!
The hotel's indoor pool, gym, sauna, and massage area is in a kind of dingy outbuilding near the outdoor pool. There is an extra (daily) charge to use the indoor pool/gym/sauna. The area is manned by a sweaty, muscular man who we nicknamed Bruno, who greeted us topless the one or two times that we looked into the area. As we had the feeling that along with being the caretaker he was also the masseur, we never booked massages there. Sorry Bruno!
There is a hairdressers beside the front entrance to the hotel and they offer massages there too. We booked in for massages with the ladies there, and discovered that they get an outside gent in to do these. My boyfriend and I were treated to very medical massages by a white-coated man in a backroom usually used for waxing I think, and both left in quite a bit of pain. I wouldn't really recommend it! But my partner did get a haircut there which he was pretty pleased with.
We did daytrips to Tarragona (taxi, train), and to Barcelona (coach/train) and I would recommend both. Tarragona has some nice Roman ruins and good shopping, and Barcelona is well, Barcelona! I wouldn't recommend the Barcelona bus tours though - they're pretty long and fairly boring. Don't waste too much time in Salou - the bit directly on the seafront is nice enough, but the rest of the town is fairly tacky and mainly caters to English speaking tourists.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located in the area of Vilafortuny, facing the sea and just in front of Sant Pere beach. Comfortable rooms with balcony, fully fitted bathroom with hairdryer, telephone, satellite TV, security door lock, heating, air conditioning and optional safe-deposit box. Buffet style restaurant with show cooking, national and international cuisine, barcafeteria, TV lounge, and a snack-bar at the swimming pool. Outdoor swimming poolfor adults and children with a large terrace solarium, games room, children’s area and kid’s club. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Best Maritim Cambrils
- Best Maritim Hotel Cambrils
- Maritim Princess Hotel
- Hotel Maritim Princess